One of the things I love best about the writing community is the way that authors promote each other and provide a network of support. When Christy Monson announced the release of her new book, her friend Drienie Hattingh was right there to help spread the word. I now turn the time over to Drienie for her thoughts about Christy's book.
A Woman’s Guide to Internal Strength
Author: Christy Monson
Christy Monson’s past career as a marriage and family therapist in Las Vegas, Nevada, no doubt inspired her to write her latest book, Becoming Free. It took Christy a year to write this worthwhile self-help adult book.
Becoming Free is all about the clients Christy helped in her practice. Of course, she did not use real names, but the stories are all true. It is clear to see that the author gave each case a lot of thought before writing this book. Every "story" is a life lesson as the author concentrates on what motivated those clients who improved their quality of life.
Christy outlined the healing process of every case, from identifying the problem to solving it. She walks us through every case with wisdom, compassion, and sometimes humor. I came away from each chapter feeling positively influenced, even when some stories did not end well.
I appreciate the concept conveyed throughout: It is important not only to give, but also to receive.
I was really inspired by the book, knowing that there just might be hope for every difficult situation women face in their everyday lives. The author makes it clear that goals can be achieved if one goes about problems the right way.
Each case/chapter read like a story. I found myself looking forward to the next and the next story. Reading the book, I felt it might just be possible to find a deeper happiness in life and that we possess more strength than we might think we have to achieve our goals. Sometimes, while reading certain chapters, I said to myself, “If only I knew this when my kids were small or in their teens” or “If only I knew this when I was trying to solve a similar problem in my life.”
The title for this book is perfect. I felt that many of the suggestions to solve problems in these real-life situations could help me in "becoming free."
Through the last couple of years, after reading Christy’s other books, I have come to love her way of writing—filled not only with wisdom and compassion, but also humor.
I agree with Margaret Johansen when she wrote this about Becoming Free: “…just like a recipe book that gives both ingredients and instructions for successful baking, Christy gives both ‘what you need’ and ‘how to do it.'"
There’s so much I love about this book, including the very appropriate quotes from famous people. The quotes strengthen the positive feelings I harvested from each of the ‘stories.’ And the concepts in this book, I feel, can be beneficial to everyone. I appreciated the last section on healing techniques—a compilation of the most effective concepts and procedures Christy gathered over the years in her professional practice.
After reading this book, I came away feeling that the knowledge I gained will help me to live a life filled with peace and positive energy. I will keep this book close to refer to when needed!
Example of one of the cases in the book Becoming Free:
procrastinatioN: There are many reasons we procrastinate.
Isabella’s manager at work gave her a project to complete by the end of the week. Isabella worried about it, but didn’t start until the day before it was due. She turned it in the next morning, but she was disappointed with her effort. I never do things good enough, she thought. I’m always a failure.
Our childhood circumstances dictate a personal belief system that we carry with us as we mature. Convictions that worked for us as children may not be helpful for us as adults.
Journal your childhood assumptions
Isabelle believed: I never do things good enough. I’m always a failure.
Rewrite these outdated assumptions as adult affirmations
In order to change these beliefs, you have to change your feelings about yourself. Reprogram your brain to know of your competence and success in life. If your change your thinking, your feelings will follow.
Isabella wrote: I am competent in the workplace. I am successful.
Repeat your adult affirmations often.
Say the statements you write often—when you’re on the way to work or fixing a meal. The more you say them to yourself, the more you will believe them. Bask in your goodness and newfound self-esteem.
Visualize the changes in your life.
See yourself as capable and efficient. The new you is qualified to take on the tasks of each day. Give yourself permission to see these changes.
Pair a negative task with a positive one.
When you have something you really don’t want to do, pair it with a task you love. I don’t enjoy doing the dishes, so I tell myself I can watch my favorite television show or read my book as soon as they are done.
Praise yourself for each small thought change and behavior revision you make. You are worth it. With some concentrated effort your procrastination pattern will be thing of the past.
Drienie Hattingh was born and raised in South Africa. She now lives in Ogden, Utah, with her husband, Johan. She has been a columnist for 18 years and her writings have been published in newspapers and magazines in America and overseas. Her stories appeared in anthologies such as ‘Christmas Miracles’ and ‘The Spirit of Christmas’ (St. Martin’s Press) as well as ‘Lessons from my Parents’ (Familius). She also compiled, published and contributed stories to three ghost anthologies, ‘Tales from Huntsville, Eden, Liberty and Beyond…’ and Part I and II of ‘Tales from Two-Bit Street and Beyond…’